Post-traumatic stress disorder due to sexual harassment

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When Rebecca Thurston read the accounts of women and girls sexually abused by a Michigan athletic doctor, one of the first things she worried about was their health - not the psychological effect of the abuse, but the long-term physical toll it could take on their bodies. An epidemiologist, Thurston has spent the past four years studying women who have suffered sexual abuse and harassment. Over time, she discovered, sexual harassment can work like a poison, stiffening women's blood vessels, worsening blood flow and harming the inner lining of their hearts.

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The term "sexual assault" refers to a range of behaviors that involve unwanted sexual contact, such as sexual molestation or rape. Sexual assault is extremely common. Survivors of childhood sexual assault have an increased likelihood of being assaulted again in adulthood.

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Trauma is common in women; five out of ten women experience a traumatic event. Women tend to experience different traumas than men. While both men and women report the same symptoms of PTSD hyperarousal, reexperiencing, avoidance, and numbingsome symptoms are more common for women or men.

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Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD and substance consumption commonly co-occur in victims of sexual assault. Pre-assault substance consumption may have an impact on the subsequent development of PTSD. This review aims to provide an overview of current understanding of the effects of acute substance intoxication and chronic pre-assault problematic substance use on symptoms of PTSD amongst individuals who were victims of sexual assault. These yielded 2, articles, of which were retrieved for more detailed evaluation and 13 of these met inclusion criteria and were appraised in full.

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Though recovery from sexual trauma is rarely — if ever — a straightforward or predictable process, research shows that PTSD can largely affect both physical and mental health. Forty-six percent of women reported experiencing postcoital dysphoria at least once in their lifetime, according to a study by the journal Sexual Medicine, and a history of childhood sexual abuse was found to be the most important predictor. A history of physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual assault in adulthood also appeared to be risk factors.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License, which permits for noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any digital medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not altered in any way. Sexual assault occurs with alarming frequency in Canada. The prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PTSD in assault survivors is drastically higher than the national prevalence of the disorder, which is a strong indication that the current therapies for sexual-assault-related PTSD are in need of improvement.

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Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is most well-known for its prevalence in the veteran population, but close to 50 percent of PTSD in the United States is due to physical or sexual violence. This statistic is alarming, especially considering that one in three women and one in six men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes. Sexual assault has many definitions, some legal and some medical, but the most widely accepted definition is sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent.

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And like any mental health issue, PTSD can be debilitating. Because dissociation is common among sexual assault survivors — during and after the event — a study looked into, and found, strong links between dissociation and PTSD. Other factors that put a survivor at higher risk for PTSD include previous mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and not having a strong support system. Physical symptoms include tense or painful musclesa result of the body preparing to fight or to flee.

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is a disorder that can develop after an individual has experienced, witnessed or been repeatedly exposed to a major trauma. In order to receive a diagnosis of PTSD, you need to be currently experiencing symptoms from each of the following categories:. Why do I have flashbacks and upsetting intrusive thoughts?

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The accusations of sexual harassment leveled against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain by Sharon Bialek and others have drawn attention to a common, yet sometimes under-recognized, workplace hazard. As many as 70 percent of women and 45 percent of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace, said Amy Blackstone, a sociologist at the University of Maine. The most common scenario involves a harasser creating a "hostile work environment" — in which a harassed person feels intimidated or uncomfortable, and can't perform his or her job well — but harassment can also involve the type of "quid pro quo" Bialek said she experienced.

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